The Five Most Defining Moments in Esports in 2019
Today we bid farewell to an amazing year and a decade of esports. This past year saw esports become the largest online entertainment industry on the planet. This past decade, Blizzard, Riot Games and Valve defined where esports is heading in the 2020s.
Before we send 2019 off, we take a look at some of the most memorable moments in esports this past year. We begin the list with one title that was highly talked about the entire year. Blizzard’s mixing of politics and esports created a controversy that took the spotlight away from one of the greatest moments in esports in 2019.
Liooon crowned Hearthstone Global Champion
Xiaomeng “Liooon” Li became the first Chinese and the first woman Hearthstone Global Champion in history. The championship game saw her face Lazarus Bloodyface in a best-of-series during Blizzcon 2019. She won the series with unprecedented domination and earned herself the crown of Hearthstone Global Champion.
The postgame interview marked one of the most memorable quotes for aspiring gamers:
“I want to say for all the girls out there who have a dream for esports competition, for glory, if you want to do it and you believe in yourself you should just forget your gender and go for it.”
Truer words have not been spoken, as we can only hope that this next decade will see the rise of the female playerbase in every single competitive title around the globe.
Team Liquid’s Intel Grand Slam
The competitive CS:GO scene witnessed two titans battle for most of the competitive season. Astralis on one side was and is the “partially disputed” Champion of 2019. While the Danes dominated the CS:GO scene in 2019, they did drop the ball just long enough for Team Liquid to earn the Intel Grand Slam trophy.
It took Team Liquid only 63 days to earn the Grand Slam Trophy. They won IEM Sydney, DreamHack Masters Dallas, ESL Pro League Season 9 and ESL One Cologne in that period and took home the $1,575,000 prize check.
The 63 day run improved on the the previous Grand Slam taken by Astralis (323 days) marking yet another memorable moment in 2019.
OG back-to-back The International
OG set a new standard for greatness at The International 2019. They completed an achievement nobody expected them to, and earned themselves the 2nd consecutive TI trophy. While the squad was always considered a strong contender, the 2019 TI tournament was supposed to be all about Team Secret or Team Liquid or even PSG.LGD. OG had other plans. They decimated the competition and took the lions share of the biggest esports prize pool in history.
Sébastien “Ceb” Debs reflected in his personal blog on this achievement. Among the interesting thoughts he shares is a quote that truly reflects the gravity of their achievement.
“I am not even mentioning the part where you actually have to keep being the best team in the world, above all sorts of competition, while having every single one of your moves gets dissected and studied by the opposition.”
Truly, in a game where Champions don’t last due to the level of competition and preparation that comes into every single match, it a small miracle OG managed to pull off this achievement.
G2 sets a record at MSI
“This is what peak League of Legends looks like.” became the phrase of the year after G2 wrecked Team Liquid in the Mid Season Invitational Finals. The best-of-series that lasted only 71 minutes saw the European team claim the global title and make Europe the best region in competitive League of Legends for the remainder of 2019. Sadly. However, G2 did not become LoL World Champions back in November to round out a true miracle, but nonetheless their MSI run and consecutive finals remain one the biggest esports moments this past year.
Fortnite, Fortnite, Fortnite
The final spot on our list has to go to Fornite.
They say “teach a man to fish and you feed him for a day“. We say “Teach a kid to Fortnite, and he will win 3$ million in Prize funds“. Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf became the first Fortnite World Cup Champion and earned himself the grand prize at only 16 years of age. His achievement shook esports and traditional media alike, earning Bugha talk show spots at the The Tonight Show and various other media outlets.
The rise of the Fortnite phenomenon is one of the most important things esports could hope for in 2019. Bugha’s achievement and the buzz Fortnite created is definitely atop of the most memorable moments of 2019.
One can only hope the next decade brings even more exciting moments for esports fans globally. We at esports.net will definitely be here to cover all of them.
Happy New Year and see you in 2020.